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SnakeBytes, 8/20: Walked off in Washington v2.0

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Deja vu all over again, as a wise philosopher once said. as the Nationals walked off the Diamondbacks for the second time this series, despite another good start from Trevor Cahill.

Mitchell Layton
Recaps

[dbacks.com] D-backs battle to tie, but Nats walk off winners - Hill had trouble getting the ball out of his glove on a potential double-play ball that would have ended the inning. Combine that with Hill just missing Frandsen's ground-ball single up the middle in the ninth, and it added up to frustration for the veteran infielder. "I should have made all the plays," Hill said. "The first one, it was unfortunate I couldn't get it out of my glove. The last one, honestly, I thought I was there, but it was hit a little harder than I thought. I should have made that play, as well."

[AZ Central] Another game slips away for Diamondbacks - Wednesday's conclusion overshadowed several encouraging developments while spelling out a harsh truth about the state of the Diamondbacks and just how far their injury-depleted roster is from contention. "Just in the end, they out-executed us in every phase of the game," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "We pitched good, but we didn't pitch good enough, they out-fielded us, they out-hit us and (were better) situationally."

[ArizonaSports] D-backs fall to Nationals in another walk-off - Cahill threw 103 pitches Wednesday, making it the fourth consecutive game in which the right-hander has thrown more than 100 pitches. Not before four starts ago, on Aug. 3, had Cahill been able to toss more than 100 pitches in a game. Cahill threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of the 27 batters he faced Wednesday.

[AZ Central] Rendon hits walkoff single to down Diamondbacks - "I know I had a couple of walks early on and then late, but that was probably the best I've felt, the best stretch I've had in a while, those middle innings," Cahill said. "The first couple of innings, it took me a little bit to find my command, but after that it was good." Cahill said he has a much better idea of where his pitches are going than he did earlier in the season. "I think I've always been confident," he said, "but just sometimes it's hard when you're trying to throw something and it's not going where you want it. It seems like it kind of is now."

[FOX Sports] Nationals win 9th in row, nip D-backs in 9th - "Last at bat -- it's definitely a game of inches," Marshall said. "The game plan was to go in there and attack (Rendon), try to force a ball on the ground, double play or at least get a guy in a rundown. He worked his hands inside the ball and kept it fair just right up the line. Nothing we can do about it." "It's tough," Cahill said. "They're a real good team. Two out of the three games I think we've battled them. We've shown that we can play with anybody."

Team News

[ArizonaSports] Towers will keep doing job 'until they take away my office key' - "For me, it's about doing what's best for the Diamondbacks and hopefully, if I'm here to see it through, great. If not, hopefully people will see that some good things were done and some good trades were made that set this organization up well for the future," he said. "If they're still talking about you, that means you're still employed. When they stop talking about you, you've got to start worrying."

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks' Daniel Hudson firing strikes during rehab outings - "He's ready to go pitch against big-league hitters right now, in my opinion," Diamondbacks rehab coordinator Brad Arnsberg said. "I know there's protocol, and we're doing it a little slower. We've had a plan and we've stuck to this plan. If all goes well, knock on wood, that puts him back in the big leagues come September. "He throws as many strikes as anybody I've been around in my entire career,. He can fill up a strike zone."

[dbacks.com] D-backs' Stites has put good advice to work - Harkey suggested that Stites move from the first-base side to the third-base side of the pitching rubber. Montero told him to stop trying to be too fine with his pitches and to trust his stuff. In his last nine games entering play Wednesday, Stites had a 1.13 ERA in eight innings of work. "He's more aggressive," Kirk Gibson said. "Believes in his stuff and understands the importance of where you throw it and when you throw it. I think right now, he's real confident. He's got a lot more life on his fastball. He's letting it go again. His velocity is back up and his slider is much better."

And, elsewhere...

[MLB.com] Giants win protest over rain-shortened loss in Chicago - Bochy had been confident. "I felt we had a strong case," he said. "We felt very strongly about it. I'm just thankful and grateful that they were open-minded." But not everybody in the clubhouse had shared Bochy's faith. "Were we surprised? Sure," pitching coach Dave Righetti said. "How many of these have been upheld? Nine? 10?" Winning such an appeal is definitely rare. It last occurred in 1986, when a protest by Pittsburgh -- that a game against St. Louis had been called too soon -- was upheld.

[ESPN] Curt Schilling says chewing tobacco led to his mouth cancer - Schilling revealed Wednesday for the first time the type of cancer he was battling -- squamous cell carcinoma, a type of mouth cancer -- and detailed the painful treatment and recovery process that caused him to lose 75 pounds. Schilling said he believes that a 30-year habit of chewing tobacco is what caused the cancer. "I do believe, without a doubt, unquestionably that chewing was what gave me cancer," he said. "I'm not going to sit up here from the pedestal and preach about chewing."

[SI.com] Q&A with new commissioner Rob Manfred - On the day after he was elected the 10th commissioner of baseball last week, Rob Manfred was handed a stack of index cards and 20 different pens by Howard Smith, senior vice president of licensing for MLB, and told to sign his name. The imprint of one of those signatures will be on the official major league baseballs next season. "What we did establish is one thing," Manfred said. "Among my strengths is apparently not penmanship."

[FanGraphs] The Year in the Eephus - What I’ve done, thanks to the help of BaseballSavant, is identify all curveballs throw less than 60mph this season. "Slow curves" are generally those under 70. When the speed starts with a 5, that’s when you’re really getting unique.